Altar frontal from La Seu d'Urgell or of the Apostles

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Romanesque Art

ANONYMOUS. CATALONIA. LA SEU D'URGELL WORKSHOP

Altar frontal from La Seu d'Urgell or of the Apostles

Second quarter of 12th century

  • Tempera and remains of varnished metal plate on pine wood
  • 102.5 x 151 x 6 cm
  • © MNAC - Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
  • 015803-000


Altar frontals formed part of the church's liturgical furnishings and were used to cover the front of the altar. This frontal, from the second quarter of the twelfth century, with tempera polychrome, is one of the masterpieces in the MNAC'S collection of painting on wood. In the central register we see a representation of the 'Maiestas Domini', or Christ in Majesty, set in a double mandorla, reminiscent of Carolingian models. On either side are the twelve Apostles distributed in a highly original triangular composition which gives rise to a clearly hierarchical arrangement of symmetry and space. The three rectangular compartments, with their bright colours, bring to mind the splendour of illuminated manuscript pages.

  • Collection
    Romanesque Art
  • Artist
    ANONYMOUS. CATALONIA. LA SEU D'URGELL WORKSHOP
  • Title
    Altar frontal from La Seu d'Urgell or of the Apostles
  • Date
    Second quarter of 12th century
  • Generic classification
    Painting
  • Material / Technique
    Tempera and remains of varnished metal plate on pine wood
  • Dimensions
    102.5 x 151 x 6 cm
  • Subject
    Religion
  • Group / Provenance
    From an undetermined church in the bishopric of La Seu d'Urgell.
  • Acquisition credit
    Purchased 1905
  • Inventory number
    015803-000
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© MNAC, 2009 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Palau Nacional. Parc de Montjuïc 08038 Barcelona